Playful Obsessions: Films

Ericka Beckman

About

For over four decades, the pioneering work of Ericka Beckman was developed in parallel to the growing presence of video games in our society. Tapping into the inner workings of gaming, as well as the rules that define and govern the expected performance of participants and the increased presence of virtual and computing technologies, Beckman’s productions reflect on the tensions between competition and play, scoring and leisure, societal behavior, and identity formation. This program will show some of Beckman’s most iconic films, in their analogue form, alongside more recent productions in vibrant digital format. 

The screening is followed by a conversation and Q&A with Ericka Beckman.

Beckman explores connections between games and gambling, the larger structures of capital, as well as the gamification of a culture which has given itself over to scores, challenges, tokens and rewards as a means of control.

Pamela Reynolds, WBUR

The Jack H. Skirball Series is organized by Bérénice Reynaud and Eduardo Thomas.

about the artist

Ericka Beckman

For over four decades, Ericka Beckman’s playful yet formally demanding films have challenged traditional aesthetic and cultural values, mixing games with fairytales to create hybrids with new rules. Beckman uses play in every sense to shape her message. Beckman’s work has been shown at festivals, museums, and galleries around the world. Her one-woman shows include: Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland; Le Magasin, Grenoble, France; the Tate Modern, London; MOCA, Los Angeles; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum, Washington,D.C.; and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. She has been in four Biennials at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Her works are in the film collection of the Whitney Museum; New York’s Museum of Modern Art; the Metropolitan Museum; The Walker Art Center; Anthology Film Archives; plus the British Film Institute, and the Zabludowicz Collection. Amongst the numerous awards received for her work are: two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts; two New York State Council on the Arts grants; one from Massachusetts Council on the Arts; and a residency from the Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris, France.

films

You the Better (1983)

32 min.

 

Hiatus (1995/2015)

21 min.

 

Switch Center (2003)

12 min.

 

Reach Capacity (2020)

15 min.